Best Health Care Communications Team

Strategic approach to staffing produces results for Blanchard Valley and the comms team

Focus on competencies and how they’re applied makes communications team indispensable.

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Communications hiring is too often a matter of filling a title, not ensuring that the team has the right skills to execute toward the strategy it is expected to support. 

At Blanchard Valley Health System in Northwestern Ohio, the comms department focused on the individual skills each team member brought to the mix, not only to perform their own work but also to support one another. 

The team of six—director, corporate communicator, event specialist, job intake coordinator/designer, graphic designer, and print shop coordinator—fulfilled all the work required of it while simultaneously evaluating its tools and processes, resulting in the implementation of two new programs. First, the team adopted a set of analytics tools to help select and create its marketing campaigns. The application of the Crimson Market Advantage software also uncovered a gap in the team’s efforts: There was no focus on direct-to-physician communication. 

The recognition of this missing piece and the numbers to back it up led to the decision to add a dedicated physician liaison. While undergoing the analysis of its tools and processes, the team delivered exceptional communication efforts, from a comprehensive multichannel marketing campaign to an internal safety awareness video to redesigned patient admission packets. The team’s focus on outcomes helped boost open rates on the hospital’s newsletter to an impressive 55 to 75 percent and doubled the number of Facebook fans and YouTube video views. 

This coordinated team effort, grounded firmly in sound communication strategy and execution, made it easy to select the team of Amy Leach, Amy Jordan, Megan James, Abby Hartman, Mindy Radabaugh, and Brian Radar at Blanchard Valley Health System as the winner of the Best Health Care Communications Team category in Ragan’s 2014 Health Care PR and Marketing Awards.

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